Man Charged with Murder in Deadly Shooting at Racial Justice Protest in Oregon

Authorities on Feb. 22 charged a man with murder and other crimes after he opened fire at protesters in Portland, Oregon, killing one woman and injuring four others over the weekend.

Benjamin Smith, 43, faces one count of second-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder, and multiple counts of assault, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s (DA) office said in a statement.

Citing video evidence, the DA’s office alleged that Smith opened fire at protesters gathered at Normandale Park on Feb. 19 after he “confronted” them to tell them to leave.

The shooting began at around 8 p.m. local time and it ended when someone returned fire, striking Smith in the hip area, according to the statement.

Smith remains hospitalized in critical condition but is expected to survive, the DA’s office said.

Authorities pronounced one woman dead at the scene and four others were taken to the hospital.

In a separate statement, the Portland Police Bureau identified the deceased woman as 60-year-old Brandy Knightly.

According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, Knightly died due to a gunshot wound to the head.

The demonstrators gathered at the park to protest the Feb. 2 killing of Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man, by Minneapolis police during a no-knock raid.


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